This Year’s Grammys: A Retrospective

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Charles Marion, Contributor

This year’s Grammy awards came and went with the same discussion that circles around every year. “Did this artist deserve to win? Are the Grammys even still relevant anymore? Why should I care about the politics of rich people with record deals getting shiny trophies?” Regardless of how you feel about these points, a lot of discussion accumulated during the show’s proceedings and afterward as people started to gather their thoughts — as does every year. This year wasn’t any different outside of singer and songwriter Billie Eilish placing in all four of the major award categories without fail.

Out of the 48 Bob Jones students surveyed, roughly only about 40% of them watched this year’s Grammy Awards. In a survey, students expressed varying opinions, many being at least somewhat divisive. Many different artists were named as being “snubbed” a Grammy. Out of the artists mentioned, the common names brought up were Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, and Tyler, The Creator — who all dropped critically acclaimed records throughout 2019.

Billie Eilish’s 2019 debut studio album — WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? — was responsible for a lot of discussion when it single-handedly took over the show’s four main award categories, plus more. The album took the spots of Album of the Year and Best Vocal Pop Album; Billie’s track, bad guy, from the album took the Song of the Year and Record of the Year awards respectively. Billie’s place in the Best New Artist category was locked in with the album’s release as well. The album was completely written by Billie and her brother Finneas — the second of the two had produced the entirety of the album. Finneas took home the award of Producer of the Year.

Of  the surveyed Bob Jones students, many people felt that Billie shouldn’t have won in as many major categories as she did because they felt other artists deserved those spots more than she did.

The biggest division in the opinion of the surveyed students was in the relevance and staying power of the Grammys as a whole. Many passionately felt that the ceremony was quickly losing relevance — citing that they felt the proceedings were rigged and/or biased for the most part. Sophomore Madison Carter stated, “It’s just giving awards to people who already know they’re great to boost their ego.” Senior Maddy Moe expressed interest in a different direction: “I think they are relevant for a little while when they happen, but I don’t think anyone takes too much stock in the results.”

Senior Toni Glover hit home on a different part of the issue. “Hard-working artists got snubbed like they do at every Grammys ceremony. The Grammys always tend to place black artists in ‘Urban/Hip-Hop’ even if that’s not their genre.” This reflects Tyler, The Creator’s win in the Best Rap Album category; Tyler had previously mentioned his frustrations with similar issues after the Grammys concluded. Toni added, “They overlook so many artists, and it was ridiculous that BTS had no nominations despite their insane records.”

The Grammys will likely always remain a controversial and divided subject. Until next year, we can always hope that the upcoming ceremony will be better — assuming you think it should even happen at all.